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How to Make Whiteboard Videos: Steps, Process, Cost

Dec, 26, 2017
Christina
Senior Account Executive

Introduction

Animation makes your marketing campaigns and learning materials more dynamic, digestible, and engaging. However, if you run a startup or social project or plan a considerable study course, the cost of professional animation with numerous characters might keep you from opting for video. Fortunately, some artistic techniques are pretty affordable compared to shooting videos or creating a 3D series. 

In this article, we’ll discuss whiteboard animation, a cost-effective option that is fast to produce and highly effective. Explore how to make a whiteboard animation video from scratch and learn how to estimate the cost of your future project.

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Summary:

  1. What Is Whiteboard Animation?
  2. How to Create Whiteboard Animation: Key Steps
  3. How Long Does it Take to Make a Whiteboard Animation?
  4. How to Make a Whiteboard Animation Video: Self-Production or Hiring a Whiteboard Animation Studio
  5. How to Create an Effective Whiteboard Video for Your Business: Blue Carrot Expertise
  6. Whiteboard Animation Cost at Blue Carrot
  7. Final Thoughts

 

What Is Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard animation is where it all started for Blue Carrot. In 2014, we launched our studio as a whiteboard-focused shop as this artistic technique was one of the top trends at the time. We offered whiteboard videos as an alternative to PowerPoint illustrations and static content ads. Since then, our team has grown and the company has transformed into a full animated video production studio.

Look at one of our very first whiteboards back in 2014 🙂

Whiteboard animation became a tool for businesses to stand out while saving on video production. One of the reasons? The invention of advanced algorithms for content animation. 

But what is whiteboard animation? The distinctive feature of this animation technique is that you see a hand drawing a story on your screen. This approach originated in the first educational DIY videos posted by teachers and experts online. Those people often had no opportunity to hire a video production studio, so they simply used what they had in their classrooms to explain the topic: a black- or whiteboard and a drawing utensil.

In 2021, you don’t need to be an advanced-level painter to create a good-looking animated whiteboard video. There are plenty of tools that can automate video production for you by simulating hand drawing on the screen. 

However, if you are puzzled by how to create whiteboard animation that captures your audience’s attention and offers them a clear message, aspects such as a script, illustration style, and quality, as well as choice of voice artist, all play a role. Let’s find out how these affect your final result.

GET THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EXPLAINER VIDEOS: TYPES, BUDGETS, STYLES

How to Create Whiteboard Animation: Key Steps

Regardless of whether you decide to create a whiteboard animation by yourself or hire a production studio, understanding the production process will save your time and your budget. 

 

On average, it takes you up to 5-6 weeks to create a single 1-3 minute video

You can also speed up the process by using standard animation elements within the platform you choose to animate your content. In some extreme cases, seven days would be enough to produce a promotional video or E-learning video of this kind. We suggest that you divide your production process into several steps:

1️⃣ Preparation Stage

Before creating whiteboard animation, you need to find out what exactly you need. Define your marketing goals, go through target audience insights, distill the key messages, and review what your competitors are posting at the moment. 

List platforms where you are planning to release a whiteboard video, desirable duration, brand look limitations, and other details. These assumptions will help you to come up with a script and make other important decisions at later production stages.   

2️⃣ Write a Script 

Scriptwriting is not an easy task if you are doing it for the first time. In addition to having advanced storytelling and copywriting skills, you need to have a good idea of how voiceover and animation timing work together. 

A typical commercial or educational video script consists of scene descriptions, timing, voiceover text, and screen titles

All those elements make your script understandable for all your teammates, including motion designers, artists, and voiceover actors. And when they understand your ideas from the beginning, you can avoid mistakes and money loss. 

A whiteboard video script is sometimes limited by whiteboarding artistic technique, so not all ideas you put into your script will work well in this syle. Learn more about scriptwriting here.  

3️⃣ Choosing a Voiceover Actor 

Although the latest research has shown that most people mute commercials on social media, there are still plenty of people you can reach with your video soundtrack, especially on your website. 

A voiceover text in educational videos helps you to make your content memorable and easier to understand. Additionally, a commercial with atmospheric music and voiceover has a higher chance of appealling to your audience and motivate them to take targeted action. Make sure your voiceover actor matches the atmosphere of your video. You can choose artists with different accents, gender, and voice modality.

4️⃣ Storyboarding and Drawing 

An answer to the question of how to create a whiteboard video that converts includes creating outstanding illustrations. A good strategy is to develop illustrations in line with your overall branding. In this case, you can make your brand more recognizable. 

Keep in mind that for whiteboard video, all illustrations should be in a painted style, which creates certain limitations, and you can only adjust shapes, colors, and shadows to make it more classical or trendy. 

Another time-tested approach is to leverage your video marketing or E-learning strategy with whiteboard videos, where illustration style is a standalone tool used to impress users and share messages. 

Speaking about whiteboard animation you need to consider that you often shouldn’t create numerous frames (as with traditional animation). Whiteboard illustrations are also flat and straightforward as if  drawn on a real whiteboard. 

5️⃣ Creating a Soundtrack 

Sound designer records or selects a soundtrack for your video. They create music from scratch or choose one on a platform for stock music. Also, they work on adding sound effects in order to complete the soundtrack. 

6️⃣ Content Animation and Final Cut

A final stage of the process of creating whiteboard animation is the animation itself. Today, you can fully automate this process by using free or paid software. Add titles and soundtrack to your video and make final adjustments to it.

 

How Long Does It Take To Make A Whiteboard Animation

As with any video production, several important factors affect your project timelines. If you are looking to learn how to make whiteboard animation, take into account that the following things increase the production timeline:

  • Duration of the future video
  • Complexity of whiteboard illustrations (it will take some time to create custom graphics)
  • Number of scenes
  • Motion design quality (realistic ‘drawing’ animation costs more and takes longer)
  • Voiceover complexity and the number of voiceover actors you need

Take into consideration that the more professional and effective result you want to achieve, the more time it will take you to produce a single video. At Blue Carrot, we typically create whiteboard videos from scratch in four to six weeks. Our tasks include not only motion design itself but also searching for a video idea, defining its key messages, scripting and storyboarding, in addition to creating illustration, voiceover, and animation.

Our team has also developed animation technology for the artists’ hand, which allows us to quickly transform our artists’ static illustrations into dynamic and engaging content. Our record for the speed of creating a whiteboard video is 7 days!

PRO tip for companies 👍

 

Are you wondering how to make a whiteboard video and avoid deadline violations? Clear requirements for the final product in a briefing form, will help you easily find a common language with a video production team and foresee how long it will take for your video

How to Make a Whiteboard Animation Video: Self-Production or Hiring a Whiteboard Animation Studio

As you already know, the advantage of whiteboard animation is that it is easy to create. Your illustrations do not have to be perfect (their imperfection makes the video even more soulful and attractive!) and you can use a free service to animate these images or even use stock images.

However, image creation is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating videos for educational projects and advertising campaigns. In order to create a whiteboard animation that will go viral on social media, you need to have a powerful script and a high-quality soundtrack. And it is better to assign such tasks to professionals. 

To help you figure out if you have to hire a production studio and opt for making a whiteboard animation video yourself, we compared the two approaches.

✅ Pros of Creating the Whiteboard Video In-House

  • Better control over your creative team and production steps.
  • Fast and efficient communication between you and a team. 
  • Obtaining video production experience.

 

❌ Cons of Creating the Whiteboard Video In-House

  • If you don’t have skilled artists you might come up with an idea to use standardized motion design patterns and illustration templates which limits you in terms of script and make your video lack individuality.
  • You need to purchase and master whiteboard animation software while it is not likely that you’ll need it often.
  • If your team has never worked on an explainer or promotional video script, you might have difficulties with developing an engaging script. 
  • If you don’t have experience in video production you might be disappointed with the final results; it requires certain skills. 
  • You will spend a decent amount of your time doing the video, part of which will be caused by your learning loops. 

 

Pros of Hiring a Whiteboard Animation Agency

  • By hiring an animation studio, you can count on the fact that any future video requirements will be taken into account and you will receive customization wherever you need it.
  • A professional production studio will take responsibility for all steps related to video production: project planning, studying your product and audience, writing a script, choosing a style, and much more. 
  • Chances are, a company that specializes in the production of a whiteboard animation (like Blue Carror) will create high-quality video faster than your in-house employees without years of experience in this field.
  • You get a whiteboard video of predictable quality. All you need to do is choose a studio whose portfolio you like. Explore the Blue Carrot portfolio
  • Get video marketing advice! If you are not sure whether you need a whiteboard video or not, ask professionals about this. 

 

Cons of Hiring a Whiteboard Animation Agency

  • Culture, timezone, or workflow gaps might lead to you not being satisfied with your video. Choose an agency that has a solid track record of working with your timezone and even country.
  • Higher pricing compared to in-house development. But you can hire an agency from Eastern Europe in order to make it cheaper than in-house.

 

How to Create a Whiteboard Video that is Effective for Your Business: Blue Carrot Expertise

Blue Carrot was founded in 2014 as an animation studio that creates whiteboard animation for businesses. At the time, this artistic technique was trending among businesses and educational groups.

A lot has changed since then. Today, companies rarely film the actual whiteboard drawing as it was before. Instead, they use tools to automatically animate simple static illustrations. For those who are interested in how to do whiteboard animation that does not look cheap or monotonous, we have compiled a list of time-tested principles that guide us when creating our videos:

🔹 Realistic Animation of the Storyteller’s Hand

Whiteboard videos look very similar to each other. You see simple illustrations (usually black and white) ‘drawn’ by someone’s hand. A beautifully animated hand is a complementary tool to help you stand out and make your video more dynamic and engaging.

At Blue Carrot, we have developed our technology to imitate the artist’s hand in the frame. We created our animation technique based on 1,500 shots of a real hand and advanced algorithms for making a whiteboard animation video.

 

🔹 Outstanding Illustrations 

You may find that monochrome or limited color palette or flat images are boring. You are partly right. However, Blue Carrot artists are used to seeing artistic limitations as a challenge. 

Then working on each new project, we try to gather as much insight as possible about your brand, product, and customers in order to offer you several illustration styles that will resonate with your target audience and lead to high video conversion rates.

🔹 Get the Most out of Your Video with Minimal Budget

The question “how to do a whiteboard video” is often asked by those on a budget who want to experiment with video marketing or leverage an educational project with an animated video.

Yes, indeed, the whiteboard approach is a way to reduce the cost of the video creation process. However, you will fully benefit if your script and soundtrack are of high quality and your video is longer than 3 minutes. 

At Blue Carrot, we advise you on how best to use your budget, and if necessary, we will offer you an alternative route.

GET THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EXPLAINER VIDEOS: TYPES, BUDGETS, STYLES

Whiteboard Animation Cost at Blue Carrot 

We cannot tell you the exact whiteboard animation cost without knowing your business goals, tech requirements, and distribution details. To give you a general idea of ​​why this artistic technique is considered a great way to save budget and create amazing videos, we want to share with you some whiteboard-related facts from our experience.

At Blue Carrot, we determine the cost of video productionby the number of hours our team spends on your project, as well as the number of creatives that will need to be involved in it. As a rule, a team consisting of a creative producer, screenwriter, artist, motion designer, VO actor, and sound engineer works on a single whiteboard animation. We estimate the time needed and agree to a fixed budget range with our clients.

For a standard full-cycle video production of 1-3 minutes or more, this team will spend 86 to 174 hours of work. In comparison, flash animation takes twice as long

Below we offer you a look at the typical distribution of hours between different tasks in the context of how much does a whiteboard animation video cost.

The longer your whiteboard video is, the lower the cost of each new second will be. Accordingly, the most cost-effective whiteboard videos are the video explainer series. Whiteboard video cost in this case ranges from $25 per artistic hour.

 

Final Thoughts

What is whiteboard animation? In addition to being an extremely cost- and production time-effective artistic technique, modern whiteboard animation is a great way to stand out from the competition and test your marketing or educational hypotheses related to the use of video in communications.

Blue Carrot has exceptional expertise in whiteboard video production. In 2014, our story began with this type of video production. Over the years, we have developed our own technology for animating the narrator’s hand in the frame and gained experience, which allowed us to quickly adapt to help clients find the answer to the question of how to create whiteboard animation, leading to high conversions. 

Contact us to get your whiteboard video estimations or learn more about our whiteboard services 👇

 

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